Putting up tomatoes

It is that time of year. When my favourite fruit is perfectly ready to be canned. Technically a tomato is a fruit, but since it is used primarily in savoury dishes, it is more often referred to as a vegetable. Whatever you call it, tomatoes are a staple in my kitchen and I like to make sure they taste great all winter long.

My mother-in-law and I process 60 pounds. It takes a full day of hard work. It is usually a hot day, and it will be again this weekend. Tomato bits fly all around her kitchen, it’s a messy job taking skins off in a boiling water bath. There are many other steps, sterilizing the jars and so on. Then the part that makes sure we don’t poison ourselves, the magic pressure canner. It takes a long time to get it up to temperature, not so much time to process and then a long time to cool off enough to remove the jars. Then repeat.

Sometime this winter, on a school night when I have not had time to shop, I will pull out one of these beautiful jars and create a quick sauce for some pasta. Throw on a few other tidbits from the fridge, maybe some olives, a little parmesan cheese and a taste of summer will be served.

Or, my husband will feel like a snack, and I can go to the cupboard for the most amazing salsa and serve with some local organic tortilla chips that I always keep on hand.

Salsa and tomatoes

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